I’ve seen the diversity of Daric Gill‘s work in many posts on The Art and Artists of 614 Facebook page and then he posted that his work would be in gallery in NYC. Thought it was high time that I learned more about him, his art and what makes him tick. so we started the interview online (I do that with everyone!) and then I had the pleasure of meeting with him just recently at Stauf’s right around the corner from his apartment/studio in Grandview. While drinking iced green tea, I had the opportunity to talk to him about art, traveling, teaching, all kinds of things. (And BTW, he looks like a young John Travolta with lighter hair!!!!)
Daric is the owner and full-time artist of Daric Gill Studios, an interdisciplinary art entrepreneurship that he’s been building for about 12 years. His website daricgill.com has galleries showing the different bodies of his artwork, archived blogs chronicling how his artwork is made as well as explaining upcoming exhibitions, and a section dedicated to building resources for other artists.
I’ve Lost My Arm
Daric has a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Cincinnati (he chose this because it’s reputation is international!!!), dual focusing in sculpture and interdisciplinary art as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Columbus College of Art and Design, dual focusing in painting and sculpture. Originally from a small farming village about 45 mins north of Dayton called Anna, Ohio, he moved to Columbus 16 years ago to pursue a formal education at CCAD. After spending 2 years in Cincinnati earning a graduate degree and teaching freshmen courses, he returned to Columbus as an adjunct professor at CCAD where he began balancing teaching with what had become a serious career as an artist. Of course, that led to a discussion about teaching, academia and trying to survive on a professor’s salary. However, in 2010 he left teaching to work full-time as an artist and has done this ever since… ‘And I love it!’
When asked if he was always creative, he responded:
If you were able to go back in time and see the 8 year old me, you’d see an extremely inquisitive precocious child who was always trying to ‘invent’ things. A regular earmark in the life of many engineers and artists, I tore apart virtually anything I could get my hands on to see how it worked. I was an incredibly energetic child and I’m quite fortunate to have had parents that allowed me expend that energy through tinkering and the use of power tools at a very young age. Growing up in rural towns in Ohio, art-related careers weren’t really considered a viable occupation like it is elsewhere. There weren’t any magnet schools or much in the way of extended education for the blooming artist mind. So, I entered youth engineering groups, invention conventions, and other fringe science related competitions as a way to explore things creatively.
Dr. Feelgood Table
He and his older sister are extremely close in age and together they picked up playing several instruments and backed each other up in sports, musicals, band, academics, etc. This smorgasbord of extra-curricular outlets catered to his creative disposition and again he credits his parents for encouraging such a well-rounded and actively participatory view on child raising.
In addition, a woman by the name of Susan Faulkner, a coordinator of the gifted programs in his school district, placed him in a regional gifted program and saw that he had potential in the arts as well. By high school, it was clear to him that he was going to either pursue a career as an artist or as a physicist. May seem that those are diametrically opposed areas of interest but Daric explained that he uses his love for science, particularly physics, to inform his art in a different way than many other artists might (we’ll talk about that in a little bit!)
A local library gave him his first solo art show at 16 and he knew that art would forever be part of his life. However, the only known reference he had to a career in the arts was in the form of commercial arts, like graphic design. Not being too keen on creative boundaries, commercial arts just didn’t hold any interest for him.. Like many high school students, he saw college as a valuable but weighty decision. Neither of his parents had gone to college (at the time) and it was a journey that was virgin territory for the whole family. When pursuing career options, he sought out those that were rooted in both physics and the arts. In retrospect, I had developed this perfect idea for a career (fine artist) but I didn’t know it was a real job until I visited CCAD for college visitations. As an artist I could use my love for many other academic fields in a way that was creatively satisfying and wildly diverse. This is a philosophy I still cherish to this day.
When asked to categorize his art, he stated that he is a fine artist who belongs to a movement in the arts called interdisciplinary arts. This branch of art explores the development of several professional bodies of artwork by one artist. This type of artist is a person or a team of people who use philosophies or knowledge from several fields to solve problems that are outside the scope of the traditional boundaries. No dabbling here; this is cross-platform approach to art making using finely tuned skills from various backgrounds. Like a triathlete, limiting their professional title to a single field would negate all the training they have in other fields. A perfect example of this was his thesis and the show that accompanied it for his Master’s degree. As he explained it to me, he wanted to show the neurological and physiological change that happens to the body when one encounters a positive situation. So, he created a ‘group show’ where he embodied all the artistic personalities exhibiting widely divergent stylistic views but maintained the thematic element. The personalities included a metalsmith, art deco poster painter, robotics kinetics artist, furniture designer and graffiti artists. Below are two photographs of the interactive laser arcade game where participants used quarters to start a timer with a limited amount of time to use the joystick to control a zippy 2-axis robot on the wall. Mounted on the robot was a bright green astronomers laser controlled by an arcade button. The laser shot over the viewers’ heads and onto light activated targets. When one of the three targets was hit, its’ respective lights turned on…WHOA! I’m impressed just reading this so I’m sure it was pretty phenomenal to be involved in it!!
You can learn more about this and other categories of art disciplines through a fun infographic Daric made (http://wp.me/p3KTKs-7B)
Our conversation rambled along, easily changing subjects from art to travel. Having true wanderlust myself, I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about his trips to the Mayan ruins, repelling into a cave in South America and his Pacific West Coast Highway sojourn last year(that’s on my bucket list!) We talked about how travel can inspire art, help an artist reflect and create in a different way and he stated that he definitely has a huge bucket list of places to see while he’s young.
Talking of inspiration, an excerpt from his blog explains how he finds it:
Like I had mentioned before, many of my ideas happen as a result of ongoing momentum. I find this to be the case for many full-time creative people. Each day I find myself looking for ideas using a whole utility belt of ways.
Thinking – You can often find me staring off into the grey void, thinking about my art. I like to think about the loopholes or build out an idea this way.
Riding – One of my favorite things to do to get my mind working is take a long ride on my small motorbike. It’s a slow ride and gives me plenty of outside air and stimulation to clear my head.
Talking – Bouncing off ideas with a worthy friend is always a great way to hash out the logistics and loopholes of an idea.
Writing – Believe it or not, writing blogs and journaling is a wonderful way to get to the core of why I’m making something. The visuals are only a part of what art can be. Documenting the successes and struggles behind the work often helps me move forward when I’m stuck.
Sketching – There’s almost nothing better for getting out the rough draft of an idea than making sketches. These could be 3-d mock-ups or drawn out sketches. Mostly, I draw my ideas using a pen on loose printer paper. This is a relaxed process that I started long ago that allows me the freedom to throw something away if I so choose.
Reading – My favorite reading materials: DIY guides, textbooks, historical documents, academic periodicals,and online articles about new advances in technology/science/religion/nature. I’m not a novel reader.
Hiking – Albert Einstein once said, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” I have nothing extra to add to that.
Inspecting – So much of our day is made up of looking around, but rarely do we actually inspect something thoroughly. I like to take apart something in my head, run my hands over it, or reverse engineer it. This is the case whether I’m looking at artwork or machinery. This is a great way to practice looking deeper at something when it comes time to build, paint, or otherwise replicate an idea.
Pieces at Edward Hopper House Museum
In keeping with his desire to have a more global presence in galleries and museums, he currently has a few of his fine art paintings at the George Billis Gallery in their Chelsea, NYC gallery after having some work in their Culver City, LA location.He’s also had the supreme honor of having fine art work included both in the Edward Hopper House Museum, NY as well as the John F. Peto Museum, NJ. A few months ago MAKE: Magazine covered a kinetic sculpture of his (http://wp.me/s3KTKs-orb) and later this summer he will have a feature with some of his paintings in Studio Visit Magazine.
PorcuPear is Dandy
Locally, he has been very involved in the Columbus art scene, has been a member of the Columbus Idea Foundry almost since it’s inception and has served as a juror for the Columbus Arts Festival. His art will be part of the upcoming ‘Art For Life’ art benefit that will place artwork at the Pizzuti Collection Museum and the Columbus Museum of Art in efforts to raise money for AIDS research/awareness. Two of his paintings have been selected as part of Ohio Arts Council loan program at the 32 story Verne Riffe Center for Government & The Arts. As part of the 2015-2017 Ohio Governor’s Office and Residence Loan Program, all selected artwork has been carefully chosen by the Ohio Arts Council and will be on extended loan for 2 years at either the Governor’s Office or his residence. Daric’s pieces are located in a sitting area within the offices. His painting Absolute: Ignition, has been selected to be in the Novas Històries, Ohio Art League 2016 Spring Juried Exhibition. The Ohio State University’s Urban Arts Space will host this year’s show from May 24th- July 9th. And, as if that isn’t pretty stupendous, his artwork has been selected to be part of a $125 million rejuvenation project that has recently begun at the Greater Columbus Convention Center (GCCC). “Absolute: Graft”, a 3 ft x 4 ft oil painting on maple, has been purchased for the new edition. This young man is on the move…woot!!!
If you’re a fan of a more whimsical style, the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) has a 50’ wall of large scale pop-up book style illustrations from his ToeHead line as part of their permanent collection (these can be found gracing the wall of their auxiliary eating space on the 2nd floor).
Every serious piece of art he makes has a corresponding blog showing how it was made, something different from other artists I have interviewed. He stated that in this way he can continue ‘teaching’ to a much larger audience. He’s also recently started uploading time-lapse videos of his creative processes to Youtube. These really ARE fascinating!!!
An example is : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JI1dMRjBaLU
It was such a pleasure to spend time with this amazing young gallery artist. I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation and all of it’s twists and turns…another indication of his diverse interests and why interdisciplinary art fits him to a T. I’m anxious to see where his future takes him in his art, his travels and his teaching!!